Publication number | US6781374 B1 |

Publication type | Grant |

Application number | US 10/446,034 |

Publication date | Aug 24, 2004 |

Filing date | May 27, 2003 |

Priority date | May 27, 2003 |

Fee status | Lapsed |

Publication number | 10446034, 446034, US 6781374 B1, US 6781374B1, US-B1-6781374, US6781374 B1, US6781374B1 |

Inventors | Ray Fli Lee |

Original Assignee | General Electric Company |

Export Citation | BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan |

Patent Citations (10), Referenced by (3), Classifications (5), Legal Events (5) | |

External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet | |

US 6781374 B1

Abstract

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method is described. The method includes simultaneously acquiring partial radial backprojection signals from a cylindrical array of m detectors surrounding an object, generating, in a k-space, additional backprojection signals with decimated b-fold backprojection steps. The generating includes producing 2-dimensional (2D) spatial harmonics to replace the decimated b-fold backprojection steps. The producing includes assuming that a sum of weighted sensitivity profiles of at least one of the detectors is a function of an angle between a vector k and an axis k_{x }of the k-space and a function of a radius of a cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors. The angle is an angle along which reconstruction of an image of the object is performed.

Claims(20)

1. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method comprising:

simultaneously acquiring partial radial backprojection signals from a cylindrical array of m detectors surrounding an object;

generating, in a k-space, additional backprojection signals with decimated b-fold backprojection steps, wherein generating includes producing 2-dimensional (2D) spatial harmonics to replace the decimated b-fold backprojection steps, and wherein producing includes assuming that a sum of weighted sensitivity profiles of at least one of the detectors is a function of an angle between a vector k and an axis k_{x }of the k-space and a function of a radius of a cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors, the angle being an angle along which reconstruction of an image of the object is performed.

2. An MRI method in accordance with claim 1 wherein assuming comprises assuming that the sum of weighted sensitivity profiles of at least one of the detectors is the function of the angle between the vector k and the k_{x }axis of the k-space, the function of the radius of the cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors, and a function of an angle between two adjacent detectors in the array.

3. An MRI method in accordance with claim 1 wherein assuming comprises assuming that the sum is provided by ${\uf74d}^{j\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89ek\ue8a0\left(x\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{cox}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\varphi +y\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{sin}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\varphi \right)}=\sum _{m}\ue89eC\ue8a0\left(m,k,\varphi \right)\ue89ef\ue8a0\left(x-{r}_{0}\ue89e\mathrm{cos}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89em\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e{\theta}_{0},y-{r}_{0}\ue89e\mathrm{sin}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89em\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e{\theta}_{0}\right),$

φ being the angle between the vector k and the k_{x }axis of the k-space, x and y being spatial co-ordinates of an image domain, r_{o }being the radius of a cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors, and θ_{o }being an angle between two adjacent detectors in the array.

4. An MRI method in accordance with claim 3 wherein generating comprises calculating a weighted coefficient of any of the detectors, and wherein calculating the weighted coefficient includes calculating a weighted coefficient of an m^{th }detector of the array by using $C\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\left(m,k,\varphi \right)=\frac{{\uf74d}^{j\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e{\mathrm{kr}}_{0}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{cos}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\left(\varphi -m\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e{\theta}_{0}\right)}}{F\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\left(k\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{cos}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\varphi ,k\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{sin}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\varphi \right)},$

C(m,k,φ) being the weighted coefficient of the m^{th }detector, F(k_{x}, k_{y}) being a Fourier transform of f(x,y), k_{x }being equal to k cos φ, and k_{y }being equal to k sin φ.

5. An MRI method in accordance with claim 1 wherein generating comprises generating at least one of additional partial backprojection signals and additional complete backprojection signals.

6. An MRI method in accordance with claim 1 further comprising:

combining the spatial harmonics to form at least one set of k-space data; and

reconstructing the image from the set of k-space data.

7. An MRI method in accordance with claim 1 wherein simultaneously acquiring comprises simultaneously acquiring the partial radial backprojection signals from a cylindrical array of equally spaced m detectors surrounding the object.

8. A system comprising:

a signal detection device having a cylindrical array of m detectors surrounding an object and configured to simultaneously acquire partial radial backprojection signals from the cylindrical array; and

a controller electrically connected to the signal detection device, the controller configured to generate, in a k-space, additional backprojection signals with decimated b-fold backprojection steps, wherein to generate the additional backprojection signals the controller configured to produce 2-dimensional (2D) spatial harmonics to replace the decimated b-fold backprojection steps, and wherein to produce the 2D spatial harmonics the controller configured to retrieve from a memory a sum of weighted sensitivity profiles of at least one of the detectors that is a function of an angle between a vector k and an axis k_{x }of the k-space and a function of a radius of a cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors, the angle being an angle along which reconstruction of an image of the object is performed.

9. A system in accordance with claim 8 wherein to retrieve from the memory the controller configured to obtain the sum of weighted sensitivity profiles of at least one of the detectors, the sum being the function of the angle between the vector k and the k_{x }axis of the k-space, the function of the radius of the cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors, and a function of an angle between two adjacent detectors in the array.

10. A system in accordance with claim 8 wherein to retrieve from the memory the controller configured to obtain the sum that is provided by ${\uf74d}^{j\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89ek\ue8a0\left(x\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{cox}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\varphi +y\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{sin}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\varphi \right)}=\sum _{m}\ue89eC\ue8a0\left(m,k,\varphi \right)\ue89ef\ue8a0\left(x-{r}_{0}\ue89e\mathrm{cos}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89em\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e{\theta}_{0},y-{r}_{0}\ue89e\mathrm{sin}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89em\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e{\theta}_{0}\right),$

φ being the angle between the vector k and the k_{x }axis of the k-space, x and y being spatial co-ordinates of an image domain, r_{o }being the radius of a cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors, and θ_{o }being an angle between two adjacent detectors in the array.

11. A system in accordance with claim 10 wherein to produce the spatial harmonics the controller configured to calculate a weighted coefficient of any of the detectors, and wherein to calculate the weighted coefficient the controller configured to calculate a weighted coefficient of an m^{th }detector of the array using $C\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\left(m,k,\varphi \right)=\frac{{\uf74d}^{j\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e{\mathrm{kr}}_{0}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{cos}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\left(\varphi -m\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e{\theta}_{0}\right)}}{F\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\left(k\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{cos}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\varphi ,k\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{sin}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\varphi \right)},$

C(m,k,φ) being the weighted coefficient of the m^{th }detector, F(k_{x}, k_{y}) being a Fourier transform of f(x,y), k_{x }being equal to k cos φ, and k_{y }being equal to k sin φ.

12. A system in accordance with claim 8 wherein to generate additional backprojection signals the controller configured to generate at least one of additional partial backprojection signals and additional complete backprojection signals.

13. A system in accordance with claim 8 wherein the controller is configured to:

combine the spatial harmonics to form at least one set of k-space data; and

reconstruct the image from the set of k-space data.

14. A system in accordance with claim 8 wherein the detection device is configured to acquire at the same time partial radial backprojection signals from a cylindrical array of equally spaced m detectors surrounding the object.

15. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system comprising:

a magnetic resonance (MR) signal detection device having an array of m detectors surrounding an object and configured to simultaneously acquire partial radial backprojection signals from the cylindrical array; and

a controller electrically connected to the MR signal detection device, the controller configured to generate, in a k-space, additional backprojection signals with decimated b-fold backprojection steps, wherein to generate the additional backprojection signals the controller configured to produce 2-dimensional (2D) spatial harmonics to replace the decimated b-fold backprojection steps, and wherein to produce the 2D spatial harmonics the controller configured to retrieve from a memory a sum of weighted sensitivity profiles of at least one of the detectors that is a function of an angle between a vector k and an axis k_{x }of the k-space and a function of a radius of a cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors, the angle being an angle along which reconstruction of an image of the object is performed.

16. An MRI system in accordance with claim 15 wherein to retrieve from the memory the controller configured to obtain the sum of weighted sensitivity profiles of at least one of the detectors, the sum being the function of the angle between the vector k and the k_{x }axis of the k-space, the function of the radius of the cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors, and a function of an angle between two adjacent detectors in the array.

17. An MRI system in accordance with claim 15 wherein to retrieve from the memory the controller configured to obtain the sum that is provided by ${\uf74d}^{j\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89ek\ue8a0\left(x\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{cox}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\varphi +y\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{sin}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\varphi \right)}=\sum _{m}\ue89eC\ue8a0\left(m,k,\varphi \right)\ue89ef\ue8a0\left(x-{r}_{0}\ue89e\mathrm{cos}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89em\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e{\theta}_{0},y-{r}_{0}\ue89e\mathrm{sin}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89em\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e{\theta}_{0}\right),$

φ being the angle between the vector k and the k_{x }axis of the k-space, x and y being spatial co-ordinates of an image domain, r_{o }being the radius of a cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors, and θ_{o }being an angle between two adjacent detectors in the array.

18. An MRI system in accordance with claim 17 wherein to produce the spatial harmonics the controller configured to calculate a weighted coefficient of any of the detectors, and wherein to calculate the weighted coefficient the controller configured to calculate a weighted coefficient of an m^{th }detector of the array using $C\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\left(m,k,\varphi \right)=\frac{{\uf74d}^{j\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e{\mathrm{kr}}_{0}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{cos}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\left(\varphi -m\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e{\theta}_{0}\right)}}{F\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\left(k\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{cos}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\varphi ,k\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\mathrm{sin}\ue89e\text{\hspace{1em}}\ue89e\varphi \right)},$

C(m,k,φ) being the weighted coefficient of the m^{th }detector, F(k_{x}, k_{y}) being a Fourier transform of f(x,y), k_{x }being equal to k cos φ, and k_{y }being equal to k sin φ.

19. An MRI system in accordance with claim 15 wherein to generate additional backprojection signals the controller configured to generate at least one of additional partial backprojection signals and additional complete backprojection signals.

20. An MRI system in accordance with claim 15 wherein each of the m detectors are equally spaced.

Description

This invention relates generally to magnetic resonance imaging systems and methods and more particularly to radially simultaneous acquisition of spatial harmonics (radial SMASH) systems and methods.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technique that is capable of providing three-dimensional imaging of an object. An MRI system includes a main magnet that provides a magnetic field, gradient coils and radio frequency (RF) coils, which are used for spatial encoding, exciting and detecting nuclei of the object for imaging. The object to be imaged is positioned in a homogeneous field region located in an air space between poles of the magnet. The gradient coils and the RF coils are typically located external to the object to be imaged and inside the geometry of the main magnet.

One technique for decreasing imaging time has concentrated on increasing speed of sequential scanning of a k-space in which the object is located and thus acquisition of MR data by reducing intervals between scanned lines in a slice of the object. Two recent techniques, SMASH technique in a time domain or the k-space and Sensitivity Encoded (SENSE) technique in a frequency domain, changes such sequential data acquisition into a partially parallel process by using an array of detectors, thereby reducing scan time as compared to the sequential data acquisition technique. In the SMASH and SENSE techniques, it is recognized that the data sampled below the Nyquist sampling rate can be recovered if sensitivity profiles of the detectors of the array can provide enough spatial information to either interpolate the data in the time domain or unwrap the data in the frequency domain. The SMASH technique uses a numerical fitting routine to interpolate a decimated number of phase encoding steps and thus, achieve reductions in scan time. There is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,910,728. However, in the SMASH and SENSE techniques, a maximum aliasing fold that can be unwrapped is limited to the number of detectors in the array.

In one aspect, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method is described. The method includes simultaneously acquiring partial radial backprojection signals from a cylindrical array of m detectors surrounding an object, generating, in a k-space, additional backprojection signals with decimated b-fold backprojection steps. The generating includes producing 2-dimensional (2D) spatial harmonics to replace the decimated b-fold backprojection steps. The producing includes assuming that a sum of weighted sensitivity profiles of at least one of the detectors is a function of an angle between a vector k and an axis k_{x }of the k-space and a function of a radius of a cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors. The angle is an angle along which reconstruction of an image of the object is performed.

In another aspect, a system is described. The system includes a signal detection device having a cylindrical array of m detectors surrounding an object and configured to simultaneously acquire partial radial backprojection signals from the cylindrical array, and a controller electrically connected to the signal detection device. The controller is configured to generate, in a k-space, additional backprojection signals with decimated b-fold backprojection steps. To generate the additional backprojection signals the controller is configured to produce 2-dimensional (2D) spatial harmonics to replace the decimated b-fold backprojection steps. To produce the 2D spatial harmonics, the controller is configured to retrieve from a memory a sum of weighted sensitivity profiles of at least one of the detectors that is a function of an angle between a vector k and an axis k_{x }of the k-space and a function of a radius of a cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors. The angle is an angle along which reconstruction of an image of the object is performed.

In yet another aspect, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system is described. The MRI system includes a magnetic resonance (MR) signal detection device having an array of m detectors surrounding an object and configured to simultaneously acquire partial radial backprojection signals from the cylindrical array, and a controller electrically connected to the MR signal detection device. The controller is configured to generate, in a k-space, additional backprojection signals with decimated b-fold backprojection steps. To generate the additional backprojection signals, the controller is configured to produce 2-dimensional (2D) spatial harmonics to replace the decimated b-fold backprojection steps. To produce the 2D spatial harmonics, the controller is configured to retrieve from a memory a sum of weighted sensitivity profiles of at least one of the detectors that is a function of an angle between a vector k and an axis k_{x }of the k-space and a function of a radius of a cylindrical surface formed by the array of detectors. The angle is an angle along which reconstruction of an image of the object is performed.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an embodiment of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system in which systems and methods for radially simultaneous acquisition of spatial harmonics (SMASH), referred to herein as radial SMASH systems and methods, are implemented.

FIG. 2 shows an embodiment of a radial SMASH system.

FIG. 3 shows a side-view of the radial SMASH system of FIG. **2**.

FIGS. 4, **5**, and **6** illustrate experimental results obtained by implementing a radial SMASH method using the MRI system of FIG. **1**.

FIG. 1 a block diagram of an embodiment of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system **100** in which systems and methods for radially simultaneous acquisition of spatial harmonics (SMASH), referred to herein as radial SMASH systems and methods, are implemented.

MRI system **100** includes an electromagnet **102**, pole pieces **104**, a controller **106**, a main magnetic field control **108**, a gradient coil sub-system **110**, a gradient field control **112**, a memory **114**, a display device **116**, a transmit-receive (T-R) switch **120**, a radio frequency (RF) transmitter **122**, a receiver **124**, and a cylindrical array **126** of equally-spaced detectors. Although electromagnet **102** is a C-shaped magnet, other shapes of electromagnets can be used.

In use of MRI system **100**, a body **130** of an object, such as a patient or a phantom, to be imaged is placed in a gap between pole pieces **104** on a suitable support (not shown). Electromagnet **102** produces a uniform and static main magnetic field B_{o }across the gap. The strength of the electromagnetic field in the gap and hence in body **130**, is controlled by controller **106** via a main magnetic field control **108**, which controls a supply of energizing current to a coil (not shown) that energizes electromagnet **102**.

The magnetic field B_{o }generated by the main magnet **102** is applied to body **130** that lies along a z-axis of a Cartesian coordinate system. The uniform magnetic field B_{o }being applied has the effect of aligning nuclear spins, a quantum mechanical property of nuclei within body **130**, along the z-axis. In response to RF pulses being generated by RF transmitter **122**, that are orientated within an XY plane perpendicular to the z-axis, the nuclei resonate at their Larmor frequencies.

Array **126** is selectably interconnected to one of RF transmitter **122** or receiver **124** by T-R switch **120**. RF transmitter **122** and T-R switch **120** are under the control of controller **106** so that RF pulses are generated by RF transmitter **122** and selectively applied to body **130** for excitation of magnetic resonance in body **130**. While these RE pulses are being applied to body **130**, T-R switch **120** also is actuated so as to de-couple receiver **124** from array **126**.

Gradient coil sub-system **110**, having one or more gradient coils, is provided so a magnetic field gradient can be imposed on the magnetic field in the gap between poles pieces **104** in any one or more of three orthogonal directions x, y, and z along an x-axis, a y-axis and the z-axis respectively. Gradient coil sub-system **110** is energized by gradient field control **112** that also is under the control of controller **106**. In an imaging sequence, the RF pulse centered about a desired Lamor frequency is applied to body **130** at the same time a magnetic field gradient G_{z }is being applied along the z-axis by means of gradient control sub-system **110**. This gradient field G_{z }causes the nuclei in a slice with a limited width through body **130** along the XY plane, to have a resonant frequency and to be excited into resonance.

After excitation of the nuclei in the slice, magnetic field gradients G_{x }and G_{y }are applied along the x and y axes respectively. The magnetic field gradient G_{x }along the x-axis causes the nuclei to precess at different frequencies depending on their position along the x-axis, that is, G_{x }spatially encodes the precessing nuclei by frequency, referred to as frequency encoding. The y-axis gradient G_{y }is incremented through a series of values and encodes along the y-axis a rate of change of phase of the processing nuclei as a function of gradient amplitude, a process referred to as phase encoding.

Following application of the RF pulses, T-R switch **120** is actuated to de-couple array **126** from RF transmitter **122** and to couple array **126** to receiver **124**. Array **126** includes detectors that are arranged to simultaneously detect MR signals from body **130**. Array **126** in this arrangement detects or senses the MR signals resulting from the excited nuclei in the body and passes the MR signals onto receiver **124**. These detected MR signals are in turn passed onto controller **106**. Controller **106** implements a radial SMASH method to process the MR signals and to produce signals representative of an image of body **130**. These processed signals representative of the image are sent onto display device **116** to provide a visual display of the image.

FIG. 2 shows an embodiment of a radial SMASH system **200**. Radial SMASH system **200** includes cylindrical array **126** of equally spaced detectors **202**, **204**, **206**, **208**, **210**, **212**, **214**, and **216** that surround body **130**. Ends of each detector **202**, **204**, **206**, **208**, **210**, **212**, **214**, and **216** are shunted to a cylindrical shield (not shown) of capacitors. Each detector **202**, **204**, **206**, **208**, **210**, **212**, **214**, and **216** is a coil having square, circular, or like geometries. In an embodiment, there is none or minimal inductive coupling between **202**, **204**, **206**, **208**, **210**, **212**, **214**, and **216**. If there is no inductive coupling between detectors **202**, **204**, **206**, **208**, **210**, **212**, **214**, and **216**, the detectors are de-coupled. Adjacent detectors, such as detectors **202** and **204**, are de-coupled by non-overlapping the adjacent detectors and non-adjacent detectors, such as detectors **202** and **208**, are de-coupled by a combination of matching circuits (not shown) and low impedance pre-amplifiers (not shown). In yet another embodiment, more than one array is used to detect partial gradient phase-encoded signals. For example, another cylindrical array (not shown) of detectors parallel to array **126** and surrounding body **130** is used to detect partial gradient phase-encoded signals. Each detector is electrically coupled to T-R switch **120**.

During the spins of the nuclei within body **130**, each detector **202**, **204**, **206**, **208**, **210**, **212**, **214**, and **216** detects at the same time a partial radial backprojection signal, which is a type of an MR signal. The backprojection signal is radial since it is acquired by detectors **202**, **204**, **206**, **208**, **210**, **212**, **214**, and **216** that are arranged in a radial fashion surrounding body **130**. The backprojection signal is a partial backprojection signal since it is acquired by undersampling information located within spins of the nuclei of body **130**. Partial radial back projection signals are produced as a result of a b-fold increase in phase encoding gradient G_{y}. The increase results in a b-fold reduction in a total number of backprojection steps. T-R switch **120** is actuated to de-couple RF transmitter **122** from array **126** and couple receiver **124** to array **126** so that receiver **124** receives a partial radial back projection signal from each detector **202**, **204**, **206**, **208**, **210**, **212**, **214**, and **216**. The partial radial back projection signals are provided to controller **106** that executes an embodiment of a radial SMASH method.

The radial SMASH method includes generating, in a k-space, additional backprojection signals with the decimated b-fold backprojection steps. The additional backprojection signals are generated by producing 2-dimensional (2D) spatial harmonics to replace the decimated b-fold backprojection steps. Each spatial harmonic provides an additional line in a k-space matrix. Once a full k-space matrix is constructed by interleaving additional lines, an image is reconstructed from the k-space matrix. The image is re-constructed by Fourier transform or non-Fourier transform methods. An example of Fourier transform methods includes performing inverse Fourier transform (IFT), such as fast Fourier transform (FFT), on the k-space matrix to construct the image. An example of non-Fourier transform methods includes performing backprojection on the k-space matrix to construct the image.

FIG. 3 shows a side-view of the radial SMASH system of FIG. **2**. The angle between any two adjacent detectors is θ_{o}. For example, the angle between detectors **206** and **208** is θ_{o}. r_{o }is a radius of a field or view (FOV) or a cylindrical surface formed by array **126** of detectors **202**, **204**, **206**, **208**, **210**, **212**, **214**, and **216**, and φ is an angle between a vector k along which an image of body **130** is reconstructed and a k_{x }axis of the k-space.

Each detector **202**, **204**, **206**, **208**, **210**, **212**, **214**, and **216** senses a partial radial backprojection signal that is further provided to controller **106** by receiver **124** for processing and producing an image. The partial radial backprojection signal is defined by

where x and y are coordinates in an image domain in which image of body **130** is produced, k_{x}=k cos φ and k_{y}=k sin φ, k_{x }being a k-space vector in the x-direction, k_{y }being a k-space vector in the y-direction, and k being the vector along which backprojection of w(x,y) is performed. The spatial encoding term exp. j(k_{x}x+k_{y}y) includes frequency encoding by the gradient G_{x }and phase encoding by the gradient G_{y}.

The spatial encoding term is viewed with another aspect. In the other aspect, it is assumed that the spatial encoding term includes weighted sensitivity profiles of m equally-spaced detectors of cylindrical array **126**. The assumption is written in a form

where C(m,k,φ) is a weighting coefficient of m^{th }detector in array **126**, and f(x−r_{o }cos mθ_{o},y−r_{o }sin mθ_{o}) is a sensitivity profile of the mth detector. The sensitivity profile is determined by using Biot-Savart law, Maxwell's equations, or experimental imaging methods.

A Fourier transform of Equation (2) yields

where F(k_{x},k_{y}) is a Fourier transform of f(x,y). Equations (2) and (3) can be substituted into Equation (1) to obtain spatial harmonics to completely fill a k-space matrix. For instance, for m=2, which means that when two partial radial backprojection signals detected by two detectors, for example, detectors **202** and **208**, are combined, a spatial harmonic is obtained as

p(k,φ)

Equation (4)

As another instance, using m=3, which means that when three partial radial backprojection signals detected by three detectors, for instance, detectors **202**, **204**, and **208**, are combined, another spatial harmonic is obtained as

p(k,φ)

Equation (5)

Similarly, three additional spatial harmonics for m=1, m=4, and m=5 can be obtained for an array of five detectors.

However, the spatial harmonics are not limited to five for a given array of five detectors that detect partial gradient phase-encoded signals. For each m, additional spatial harmonics can be obtained by varying φ. For example, for m=1, a spatial harmonic is obtained as

(k,φ_{1})

Equation (6)

As yet another example, for m=1, a spatial harmonic is obtained as

p(k,φ_{2})

Equation (7)

Hence, there is an increase in the limit on a number of spatial harmonics that can be obtained by varying φ for each m. The limit is increased as long as one spatial harmonic is different from any other spatial harmonic. Once a full k-space matrix is obtained with each line of the k-space matrix being a spatial harmonic, an image is reconstructed using any one of Fourier transform and non-Fourier transform methods from data in the k-space matrix. The spatial harmonics that can be obtained by varying φ and varying m virtually generate additional backprojection signals. Each additional backprojection signal is either an additional partial backprojection signal or an additional complete backprojection signal. The additional partial backprojection signal has incomplete information that is used to generate a part of a portion of an image of body **130** and the complete backprojection signal has complete information that is used to generate the portion of the image of body **130**.

FIGS. 4, **5**, and **6** illustrate experimental results that were obtained by implementing a radial SMASH method using MRI system **100**. The experiment was conducted using a General Electric™ Corporation's LX scanner. FIG. 4 shows magnitudes and phases of the spatial encoding term exp. jk(x cos φ+y sin φ) for φ=0 degrees, for approximately 30 degrees, such as, for instance, 31.3 degrees, for approximately 60 degrees, such as, for instance, 60.1 degrees and for 90 degrees. The magnitudes and phases were obtained with the radial SMASH system with m=16 detectors, r_{o}=12.6 centimeters (cm), radius of a shield=15.2 cm, image current radius=18.3 cm, θ_{o}=22.5 degrees, and k=π/2r_{o}. FIG. 5 shows sensitivity profiles for each of the 16 detectors and FIG. 6 shows a real component, an imaginary component, and a magnitude of the composite sensitivity profile exp. jk(x cos φ+y sin φ) that is obtained by summing the sensitivity profiles of the detectors. The real component and the imaginary component demonstrates a 2-dimensional sinusoidal behavior in a half wavelength. The magnitude of the composite sensitivity is not flat but is low in the middle, which means that the composite sensitivity is a natural highpass filter used for performing filtered backprojection to reconstruct an image.

Using the herein described radial SMASH systems and methods, partial gradient phase-encoded signals are simultaneously acquired to create an image of a slice of body **130** being scanned. Consequently, time taken to create a complete image of body **130** is significantly reduced as compared to MRI systems that embody serial encoding techniques or methods. In addition, unlike Cartesian SMASH, where a number of spatial harmonics cannot exceed a number of detectors that detect partial gradient phase-encoded signals, there is no limit on a number of spatial harmonics that are obtained by using the herein described radial SMASH systems and methods. It is noted that the Equations (1)-(7) are stored in memory **114** and controller **106** retrieves any of the equations when necessary for a computation.

While the invention has been described in terms of various specified embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the claims.

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Referenced by

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US7397242 * | Oct 27, 2005 | Jul 8, 2008 | Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation | Parallel magnetic resonance imaging method using a radial acquisition trajectory |

US20060132132 * | Dec 21, 2004 | Jun 22, 2006 | General Electric Company | Method and system for MR scan acceleration using selective excitation and parallel transmission |

US20070096732 * | Oct 27, 2005 | May 3, 2007 | Samsonov Alexey A | Parallel magnetic resonance imaging method using a radial acquisition trajectory |

Classifications

U.S. Classification | 324/309, 324/307 |

International Classification | G01R33/561 |

Cooperative Classification | G01R33/5611 |

European Classification | G01R33/561A |

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Aug 24, 2012 | LAPS | Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees | |

Oct 16, 2012 | FP | Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee | Effective date: 20120824 |

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